The hospital room was packed with people–each person hand-selected to be a part of the team. This was not an ordinary medical team nor the procedure an ordinary procedure. This team was striving to accomplish something that had never been accomplished before–something most experts said was impossible. And yet here they were–after five months of preparation and practice–attempting to separate two siamese twins who were connected at the brain.

Dr. Ben Carson led this team of experts through 22+ hours of surgery until finally the goal was accomplished. Not only were the twins separated, but for the first time in history they were both still alive at the end of the procedure. Everyone celebrated.

But what some people may not know, is that Bennie Carson grew up in inner-city Detroit, got D’s and F’s in school as a kid, was raised by his single-mom who left Carson’s dad because he was a polygamist, and almost failed Chemistry in college which would have canceled his scholarship and ended his dreams of medical school. Carson should not have become a successful adult–but he did. Dr. Carson is now the world’s leading pediatric neurosurgeon. How does that happen? How does a kid–from what many would consider a disadvantaged background–become one of the top doctors in the world?

You should really read the book to find out (don’t just watch the movie, read the book first), but I will give you a few hints.

  1. God: My main takeaway from Gifted Hands by Ben Carson is a saying that he often repeats, “The Lord won’t get you into anything he can’t get you out of.” Carson lived this way, and in many ways this saying depicts his entire life. There were so many little things in Carson’s life that could have changed and dramatically shifted the direction of his life–but they didn’t. God orchestrated Carson’s life in a way that only God could.
  2. Ben’s Mom: Carson called himself “dumb” on more than one occasion, but his mother never let him get away with it. She challenged, supported, encouraged, and helped him in whatever ways she could. She constantly taught him, “we create our own destiny by the way we think.”
  3. In-Depth Learning: How does a “disadvantaged” kid from Detroit become the world’s leading neurosurgeon? Reading! Carson’s mom made him read two books a week and write a book report on each. Not only that, but Carson never settled for surface learning–meaning learning only facts or figures. Ben Carson learned a topic inside and out.

Gifted Hands is a must read. Period. If you want to live a successful life and move passed apathy and mediocrity–pick up this book!

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